Filed under: Motorsports , Performance , Videos , Lexus , Toyota , Racing We all know that street racing is dangerous, and that motorsports are best left on the track or drag strip. However, that doesn’t mean that there still isn’t some outlaw allure among enthusiasts of racing on public roads. In this video, Vice Japan profiles Eikichi Nagayoshi of Japan’s island of Okinawa. He is a used car dealer by day and an illegal racer by night. Nagayoshi has a deep love for his highly customized Toyota Aristo (better known to us as a first-generation Lexus GS ) that he claims produces over 1,000 horsepower and has hit 205 miles per hour. He races his car both on drag strips and in drifting competitions, but says that he often has to ship the car to mainland Japan to compete. In the absence of those opportunities, he sometimes gathers friends and takes the racing to the public roads. While we’re not down with street racing, this Vice video is an intriguing personality piece, as well as a look into Japan’s fabled underground racing scene. Scroll down to check out the video, but make sure you have the “CC” button clicked, because several portions are subtitled. Continue reading Vice chronicles Okinawa’s illegal street racing scene Vice chronicles Okinawa’s illegal street racing scene originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:45:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , GM , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Mazda , Subaru , Toyota , Volkswagen What do the Dodge Dart , Ford Focus , Honda Civic , Mazda3 , Subaru Impreza , Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta all have in common? Well, actually, lots. They are all four-door sedans that fall into the so-called C-segment, and they are all trending downward in sales. This data comes courtesy of Wards Auto , and, while not all such vehicles are down – the Hyunai Elantra has been trending upward – the deficit reportedly rings in at six-percent overall for the segment. Where are all those compact sedan buyers going? To compact SUVs, at least in part. Wards cites data showing that sales of small SUVs and crossovers are up big over the last several months. Vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 are all showing sales increases as buyers shift from sedans to utility vehicles, says Wards . Still, it’s way too early for automakers to give up on C-segment sedans. Though down, sales of popular models like the Civic and Corolla are good enough to put them well into the top 10 sales chart (in ninth and sixth place, respectively).
Filed under: Budget , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Toyota Toyota has announced a small recall of its redesigned, 2014 Highlander over issues with one of its seat belts. The affected vehicles, which were built from November 20, 2013 to January 18, 2014, could have a seatbelt assembly in the middle seat of the third row that wasn’t properly secured to a floor anchorage at the factory. In total, 7,067 of the new Highlanders are included in the recall, which was discovered not after a crash, but during a post-build inspection at the factory. It’s unclear if there have been any injuries as a result of the faulty seat belts. Toyota is set to inform owners of the affected vehicles as well as dealers with the recalled Highlander models in their inventory. Naturally, repairs will be performed free of charge. For the full bulletin form the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , scroll down. Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander recalled over seatbelt anchors 2014 Toyota Highlander recalled over seatbelt anchors originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Budget , Geneva Motor Show , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota Following the leaked pictures we showed you yesterday, we have the full battery of images and info of the all-new Toyota Aygo , in addition to our gallery of live photos from the floor of the Geneva Motor Show . Like its cousins from Peugeot and Citro
Filed under: Budget , Geneva Motor Show , Europe , Hatchback , Toyota , Peugeot , Citroën It almost made it, but images of the redesigned Toyota Aygo have leaked ahead of its official debut at tomorrow’s Geneva Motor Show . The new Aygo sports an aggressive look overall with a, um, mark on its face. That distinguishing design feature aside, we quite like the angular headlights and muscular overall look of this little city car. The gaping trapezoidal air intake make the Aygo look more substantial, while swollen rear wheel arches hint at something sportier than your standard commuter device. Sportiness, though, isn’t likely to be a big part of the Aygo. As it’s built on the same platform as the Citro
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Lexus , Toyota , Design/Style A reshuffle in the uppermost ranks of Lexus could see the Japanese luxury brand further energize its recent focus on design. Tokuo Fukuichi, Toyota’s global design boss, is the new head of Lexus International. Fukuichi will retain his role as the overall head of design for Toyota , Lexus and Scion , and will assume his new position at the head of Lexus and on its board on April 1 (no fooling). This is going to be an interesting move for fans of design to watch, as Fukuichi has repeatedly been mentioned as a designer that enjoys pushing the envelope and experimenting. He is, after all, the man responsible for designing the most awesomely odd minivan of the 1990s, the mid-engined, rear-drive Toyota Previa, and more recently, he signed off on the controversial Lexus LF-NX concept , which is said to presage a new production small crossover. “Regarding changes in design, no one has 100 percent confidence,” Fukuichi told Forbes back in January 2013. “No one can really say with pure certainty that, ‘In two years, this will sell well.’” As Akio Toyoda continues to demand more assertive, edgier designs, it’s that point of view that should make Fukuichi a valuable addition to Lexus, as it continues to challenge the competition from Germany. Fukuichi replaces Kiotaka Ise, who will become the chief officer at Toyota Research and Development, according to Automotive News . Lexus gets new boss, and he’s a designer originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Truck , Toyota , New Car Reviews The Toyota Tundra is the automotive version of off-brand Cheerios: it doesn’t dominate the market, and it’s not the first model people think of when they hear the term “pickup truck.” Ford , General Motors and Ram dominate the segment with vehicles that offer ridiculous levels of towing and payload capacities and models loaded with luxury items and primed with tech-rich engines. The off-brands, meanwhile, are led by the Tundra, which while still accounting for six-figure sales (112,732 units in 2013, up from 101,621 in 2012), sits well behind the F-150s and Silverados of the world. After our first drive of the revamped 2014 Tundra , we came away thinking this truck is a total underachiever, aimed at placating Toyota loyalists and doing little to win over new customers. But everybody deserves a second chance, and we thought a week’s drive in a different environment might lead to a different – or at least a more fully realized – opinion. While the Tundra might not be an industry leader, it still makes it on many truck buyers’ shopping lists. So, should you consider this off-brand pickup truck? To find out, we borrowed a top-of-the-line Tundra Platinum for a week. Read on to see what we found. Continue reading 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Etc. , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Crossover , Toyota , Humor Do Muppets drive? We’re not sure it’s necessarily a good idea, but it’s been known to happen. Fozzy called his hibernating uncle’s Studebaker a bear’s “natural habitat,” and Doctor Teeth wouldn’t get the Electric Mayhem very far without his band’s psychedelically painted school bus. But how about Rolf in a 2014 Toyota Highlander ? That’s what we got a glimpse of in the run-up to the Super Bowl , and the same combination (plus one Rizzo the Rat) that features in this adorably ordinary video below. Ordinary because it’s just a couple of guys going out for an ice cream. Adorable because, well… they’re Muppets. See what we mean in the surprisingly entertaining two-minute clip below .
Filed under: Car Buying , SUV , Toyota Many Americans view their 30th birthdays as significant milestones, even though the average life expectancy here is more than 2.5 times that age. So you might think Toyota would be keen to party over the 30th anniversary of its 4Runner , since most models don’t even live to half that age. You can put that idea away unless you consider discounts of $500 to $1,000 something worthy of cake and kazoos, since it appears that’s all the birthday SUV will get. That’s right, not even a trim-and-tape special edition or so much as a sticker. We asked Toyota for comment and were told they had “No other 30th anniversary 4Runner items to announce at the time.” So, about those incentives: they climb from $500 on the SR5 and Trail editions to $750 on Premium models and $1,000 on the Limited trims. Toyota says they’re available at dealerships now and will last for the entire year. There’s a press release below with a little more background, and there’s a sad violin playing somewhere in the distance. Disappointed, party of one, your table is now ready… Continue reading Toyota celebrates 30 years of 4Runner with… incentives?
Filed under: Budget , Geneva Motor Show , Europe , Hatchback , Toyota , Peugeot , Citroën Just the other day, Peugeot took the wraps off the new 108 . But its new city car, like the 107 it replaces, doesn’t stand on its own. The 107 was a sister vehicle to not only the Citro